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  CSPAN    Capital News Today    News/Business. News.  

    October 4, 2012
    11:00 - 1:59am EDT  

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people to make the decision that you want them to make an after a while you think why don't i get to make the decisions? so i ran for the city council in my junior year when i was 20 years old and i won. four years later i decided that i would like to be the mayor. iran and i won and laboratories of democracy i truly think cities are the frontline frontline of democracy. cities are where ideas get put into action where you can see if they are going to make a difference or not. one of the ideas that i championed it my second year in 2009 back when i was a young man was a smoking ban. banning smoking in public parks outdoors and after playgrounds and dining spaces in the comments which is a buyer -- which is our outdoor pedestrian
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park. the time it was very radical. the following year mayor bloomberg at the did the same thing in new york city. so he is welcome but that. i sent him a note and i told him any other ideas you want we can talk. you can do these things on a city level because you can reach -- speak to them and not let don't speak over them because you can only keep their attention for this long. who can grab and hold onto their attention what is more he cannot score political points by a main -- going home to your own district like what happens here in the city. you can't just blast the other side and go home and say can you see the other side is the reason we didn't get anything done? a person in our city the person you're yelling you are yelling at you have to see later that night at wegmans. you have a wegmans here?
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it is a grocery store. you have to see them in the coffee shop and you have to see neighbors and they say i know that person. why are you fighting instead of solving our problems? you have to get the work done because there is no place to retreat true -- retreat to. our entire government or democracy to be successful has to be more young people getting involved in i'm not saying that just because i'm a young person. through my work on the city council, it brings something to our system. in fact i'm convinced that they bring three things. the first is energy. if you have ever tried to make a change it takes an inordinate amount of energy beyond even what you'd even expected. 14, 15, 16 hour days and things that you thought would take a
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week. if you don't have the energy to see these things through, young people have more energy than they know what to do with. that is because you didn't go to bed until 5:00 a.m.. at my age if i didn't get to bed until 5:00 a.m. i would not wake up until monday. the second thing is creativity. honest-to-goodness, this is something that -- have you ever seen a 6-year-old playing in out of nowhere they say i'm a dinosaur. they believe that in that moment or go in their mind so radically changes the status quo. they have no attachments to the status quo. alternate worlds and possibilities are as real to them as threal world and that is something as we get all older we fetishize. my staff knows there are two
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things they're not allowed to say to me. they can say we have always done it this way and everyone else does it this way. those are the two things that literally mean nothing to me because i have no attachment to the way we have always done it. i'm looking for the best ways. that sort of creativity and i will give an example. a couple of years ago i sold my car because in ithica we call it earth conscious. i believe. call it a hippie. it's an unusual place i will tell you that. we were named the number one college town in america by people who ranked us. so when i was elected mayor i got the best spot in the city in front of city hall which is in the heart of our downtown. what are we going to do with this? i got to park benches we were not using anymore in the tree was being cut down. we hollowed out the tree and sliced it into chunks and put
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flowers in it and created the smallest park in the city. instead of reserve for mayor we have assigned it said reserve for mayor and friends. automatically small things change instantly the way people thought about how much space we use for cars. change was possible on a small budget and it changed the way people protested my decision. they take right away to the parking spot. i didn't anticipate that one. they say the sign says friends right there. that kind of creativity -- in the last thing is, the first is energy in the second is creativity and the last thing as moral authority. i mean in an unambiguous sense of what is right and what is wrong and fair. it is not true of everybody but for a lot of us that same six euro bill as a dinosaur.
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have you ever tried to take away a lollipop from a 6-year-old? you say why would you do that? but if you did hypothetically what would they say? they would say it's not fair and one of six rules as it's not fair what do we say? life is not fair. you guys are are the grownups. you already grew up and you know the lines are ready. life is not fair and that is, if the 6-year-old has the verbal skills to express his feelings he would say a world full of injustices did not excuse any one particular injustice. now of course he doesn't so he will just hold his breath until he gets it back but you especially are sort of the perfect moment. you you were at this crossing where you still feel deep injustice to the world.
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when there is a tsunami or an environmental impact you feel that it's unfair but you also have the verbal skills and the communication skills and you have to organize yourself and you have the dedication organization that it takes. if we are going to see her way out of the largest challenge of our time which is how do we get to it and how do we take care of all of our poor and how do we stop climate change because for as climate change is not hypothetical and it is not academic. the consequences are not insignificant to us because what happens 50 years from now will will -- i plan to still be in office i hope and i would be in my 13th term. we have to take that energy and that creativity and that moral
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authority and injected into her government because at the moment government is being run by grownups all of the world and our democracy is too often not getting the job done. >> rachel. >> there are two big acts to follow. thanks to the berkeley center for bringing me in. as the millennial who is not an office i'm going to talk a little bit more about the voter especially with the results of the millennial value survey at the burt a center. we have a lot of energy and creativity, news and media access are arguably easier than ever to get ahold of. only 50% of us are certain to vote. mora register but only 50% are certain so what is wrong with that? someone mentioned earlier that whether we are voting are not we
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are being represented. there are people in office making decisions on our part. i'm about to turn 22 and so i was not a teen in the last presidential elections though like many younger millennials, many people who are in office now we are not -- were not voted for by us. we were at the hbo to follow politics but not in 2008 so that's interesting. but either way whether you are or not able to vote, your decisions are being made about you and about your community locally and nationally so that creates an interesting situation. we use the voting booth as a tool to bring common people into democracy. that is our way to participate, to go into the booth on that tuesday during the work day and
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check some boxes. that is our contribution. that is how we show what we want. we pick between a few people. a lot of millennials do vote. there are a lot of millennials who don't vote. there are a lot of millennials, as the title of of the report indicates, our dissolution. maybe they think their vote doesn't count. maybe they don't like the candidates. maybe they think that voting is too much of a hassle. but they are not voting that they are still being affected. there are many other people who are voting for different reasons. immigrants, their huge demographic changes taking place all across the country and whether you have documents or not you're in the country and the results of the elections to affect you. but you're not having as they necessarily in those results. convicted felons, they are still
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citizens and they won't be voting anymore and arguably often poor and people of color are often incredibly impacted by the results of an election and the people who hold office. they get no say in the results of the elections. arguably some states although not pennsylvania in november, those without i.d.s often won't be able to have a say in this part of our democracy. again often the elderly, often people of color, they may not be able to participate in this one highlighted democracy. i am voting in registering my friends who do believe in elections but i also have several friends who are not convinced to get out in november. they are just not going to. that doesn't mean they have no interest. not every millennial isn't voting is totally uninterested
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in everything. they still have a need and desire and ended up in the community no matter how they participate in it so i think there's a gap. i think there's a huge gap especially for millennials between elections and our lives in this democracy. there is a big gap and i would gather most of us are fairly politically engaged so it's easy to write off if you don't participate in elections it's just apathetic. there are in this democracy with us so why think while we may still be pressuring them to register to vote and get welfare on the sixth i think we need to think of other ways, their avenues that exist in this democracy. elections are really important and i believe elected officials make a huge difference and there is also a lot more going on. in coming to this symposium i was looking at other millennials
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in other parts of the country and what they were doing and i read about this millennial engagement event. very similar and violent nails were brought together and they pitched ideas. it was a conference for grant funding. the millennials pitched ideas to get their community more civically in guage. they were volunteer programs and rallies for teaching primary school students how to better engage with their communities. that is one idea put of millennials are doing elsewhere but as we hearken back, than the movement was a bit more alive or in 2008 in 2007 where there were huge drives for people to get out the vote. i think it's really important to not forget that everyone here in the country with or without papers, with or without a job, with or without an i.d., we are
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all living here together. we are neighbors and shop at the store together. we also go to school together for especially for those of us who are play the game gauged its import to think about how to incorporate everyone and hearing from as many people as possible whether or not they are citizens is huge. we all want to improve our community. i've kind of want to improve my own -- to the detriment of others so as so if some in the millennials our dissolution now, how else can they get involved? i don't think just because there is a sense of disillusionment with elections are one part of politics that means a total withdrawal from many participation in the community. i think that is an interesting challenge and i'm sure the two of you especially working with education and the dropout rates,
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voting is very important but it's not everything and for a lot of people they don't think it's the right avenue for them right now. there's a lot of outreach that can be done. >> the that is a big format. you just made such a great point about how a lot of people don't vote because they think one vote every four years. they are not going to lose by one vote but that is true but when you vote regularly it make it into the minds of people who think about running for office. even before they get elected so they become accountable on a national level. at the local level the way you get elected as you go to the board of elections and have them print out a list of registered voters and from this list view look how many times you have voted in which election and it also has your age and your
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gender and the software -- we had in our data a column that showed whether the people had elected were cat owners. take that list and you go down the street and if you're in a real hurry you go to the people who vote all the time. if you're trying to be thorough to go to all registered owners and if you are being extremely thorough you knock on every door. most people are not generally thorough so you walk on the doors of likely voters. they can tell you what's going on in their lives, and the people who aren't on the list are literally invisible. their doors never get knocked on and they never get that hour with the candidate. the candidate never gets to tell
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tell -- hear what is important of those people in the people you talked about immigrants, the very young and people of color. you could end up walking past entire blocks of people. they are invisible to us a candidate and invisible to the government. you then wonder why some neighborhoods don't get the same as others. it's not just because they did not vote. it's because they were not registered to vote and are not conscious of the government. >> some elections are won by one vote. i have say one by one vote last september. september 20 there were forbes running and i got 200 -- 2023 votes in incumbent mayor got 2022. winning the preliminary by one vote everyone was telling me they were the one vote. so what we did, we printed t-shirts that said i was the one vote and we sold them for 10 bucks as a campaign fund-raiser in the greatest thing about that was a lot of new folks voted.
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about 1000 more voted than two years earlier so everyone is coming up -- they force me into the car and i got to the polls in the i did know who is going to vote for and they told me to vote for you. they really gave us momentum over the next several weeks before the general election to heaven and -- to beat an incumbent mayor by one vote and and a plate into her story of civic engagement and getting people involved particularly young people and the latino community. folks often said alex will only win if young people, to vote and only win because he can speak spanish but again i won the election because we got average white middle-class votes in the community who got out and voted for me. that is just a real practical look plan can do is look at who is registered to vote. we spend time trying to expand the voter pool and we have to focus on the voters who we know are going to get out on election day to actually vote.
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>> there is a neighborhood in a college town and it is called that because it's 97% students and college students everywhere. it ended up 35 people voted of those 3000, so you know we targeted them more than any other race. >> it great conversation already and we need to add one more voice to it. >> that is a tough act to follow certainly but i want to thank the mayor's and the berkeley center for giving me the opportunity to be here. a funny story i would say, we were sent an e-mail saying bears a series of events and said a subsequent e-mail saying you have the opportunity to talk at one of these events and which can you talk to?
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i responded i want to see the mayor and i was curious for such a great opportunity. i am entirely serious about it or go and then today, less like a dinner they were like c-span is going to be there. wow, this is getting better. maya read -- immediate reaction was check it out. i'm going to be on c-span. my mom is watching right which is probably the only person watching but nevertheless -- >> my mom is watching. >> there you go so it all begins at one point. and the most important things to me that struck her was salient with the remarks that were made, opportunity within our democracy is what sort of makes the democracy the character of the regime and we forget in the united states the way we divide
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of politics in the and the way we divide governance as different layers. we have levels of government. the local is arguably in many ways the most responsibility. this is a fact that is dawned on me in numerous respects. i'm from new york city from the south bronx, community were a lot of doors don't get knocked on, community where do rose have been carved by policies that were made decades prior to the press and in many years in the future will create the lines in the sand of what representation you happen what sort of action you have said to me these issues are pressing but yet in a similar way i've edited it enormously from my own community, where i was raised. my family and my environment and to me the value of the local and about the city and i am partial to the urban environment.
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i love it and that is why a study of. i went to public schools my whole life and it was from the teacher who said hey you might like doing this and spent time after school and they introduce me to an excellent opportunity or someone who sat after school with me and went through different topic source said i didn't understand it might debate coach in high school not being paid to spend but spent an extra six hours per week coaching. these are all things that i found made the character of my life and they all happened not by way of some sort of large institutions not by way of -- that was my local experience and what i found in a very homely city and you hear the characterization of cities or urban environments as you get lost and this has not been my experience and this is not what the local represents of returning to what i find to be
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the salient theme is that cities and local politics and local institutions are really fit on the greatest opportunity. you can truly access and touch that and shape the lives of so many people and in particular young people. irrespective of the views we hold about young people and irrespective of the realities of their voting and irrespective of an array of different backs the reality is you cannot escape it. they are the new electric. 20 years from now they will be the older demographics. they will be the adults, the grown-ups. it is a marvel to me that this was dawned upon in all levels of politics so for me i think that opportunity exists at the local level and it brings a great deal of pride to be sitting on the stage with folks who really have
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done what i've aspire to and have great passion for. chuck schumer was elected to the new york state assembly is one of the youngest people there and that is the fact that he forgot. >> oh he did not forget it. he said how old are you? i said 24. just out of harvard law school, whatever. he lost me at harvard. am i right? >> you didn't get in neither? [laughter] i am saying he could certainly appreciate the similar upbringing in that respect but i hearken back to the same point. i think local politics and urban politics to me are the center of democracy. truly the greatest amount of opportunity is available there and i would love to hear other peoples comments on that but to me that is the importance of
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governance. >> so i guess i will pose one question to you and we have people ready to ask questions already. one of the things that you often hear millennials interacting with is media and technology and social media. we heard earlier today one of our expert said the social media sites are the village squares for civil discourse these days. so to hear from both of you how you are using media, social media and tech knowledge he. to relate and contact constituent. >> to some extent in my opinion sometimes if i don't post it on facebook is as if it didn't happened so it's critically important that we -- we have to choose because we don't want to put two things on facebook
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within a half an hour and we want people to comment and like and know what is going to get the most likes. i think my picture with the president michelle got the most like so i'm trying to get that record in that sense but facebook you know i would not have one with social media. we won the election because we had new forms -- paired traditional forms with doorknocking. that was what put me over the finish line. we had 89-year-old saying they lived in holyoke their entire life and asking them what they thought about education or economic development was most important thing we did. it is scientific. and talking to voters and you know how many votes you need to win on election day and you get those voters out to vote but at the same time i think to piggyback on the doorknocking, with the social media and the twitter in the facebook thousands of people reading a
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post or an opinion about something was incredibly important and to push that it over to governing is becoming more important. what we have been able to do because as mayor akin to everything we have checks and balances and the city council and they have pool committee. most of the time fortunately so oftentimes when there is an important issue when you go to the city council chamber and make sure we get there and one of the most recent things was i created a director of the creative economy in the city to focus on tourism. somebody gets up every morning thinking about how we can connect arab manufacturing for example to design new -- as we seek to embrace an economy in the city and my a lot of folks on the council had have no idea what it meant. we really had to educate folks about what that meant and we ended up getting 11 of our counselors to vote in favor of that. in january my third week, i city
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solicitor who i appointed with confirmation was up for a vote from the city council and what i did on facebook was tomorrow night my solicitor candidate that i appointed will be interviewed and they will take about tomorrow night. can you please shut the meeting and speak in her favor and we got her friends there and her family there and people who didn't know her but supported me so when you pass a city council people are scared to vote against the folks who show up. it has become less about whether you agree or disagree by wanting to appease the people who are showing up. for me whenever there is important issue before the city council posted on facebook, they try to pack the room and get the council to notice an issue of importance to an basic you and basic things. being mayor you are still the mayor when you leave so you're at the café or the grocery store on the weekend an economic trip in our half of way. people know you're the mayor and they have the right to ask you
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anything so oftentimes on a daily basis there are it inbox messages about potholes are wanting new sidewalks and oftentimes they respond. oftentimes you spend part of the day calling this number and it's really refreshing for people to have -- obviously there are people that call the office all the time about interesting things as you can imagine and my assistant is here today and she takes most of the constituent calls. when i got elected people would figure cs and hire an older woman and i said no i will hire -- so it's been a great experience to bring younger people into the system and also get to know folks who have worked for the city for 20 or 30 years and 04 card for the city and have a new energy to work toward nichols. oftentimes we put people together and city governments
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and feeding off taxpayer money and not doing their job. .. and to close at, what is taking a 15% tax increase or we would have to reduce our personnel by 10%. that is 40 out of 400 employees would have to let go. so for the last 10 months, this
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is in my largest haul. i've the market every day in the budget turned to come up with creative ways to increase revenue, creative ways to reduce costs. we have a laundry list of initiatives. and yesterday, i propose my budget proposal for the next year that will close the $3 million deficit with only three layoffs in the 2.7% tax increase. a full percentage point below the average of the last four years. back on about 12 likes on facebook. i got some presidential, 500 likes on facebook. this'll be a real head, sherry. >> sometimes a refresh. there must not be reading it. >> but it is as a tool, the important conversations, those
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have to have when you have so much attention. they can give you their attention. you can give them yours. there is no push but my to replicate that. but as a forum, to share the implications and sometimes to allow a dialect to happen, my facebook page come especially after i got elected, funny things happen in. i think you touched on in a public square. a new public square, where i know if i have a conversation immediately, i did an interesting -- i was working with traffic engineers. we drafted something up and it was too technical. it just are on the whiteboard, simple, lester lane. intersection, you know, immediately. and some otherwise, you know, negative. you get people fighting against each other.
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like if you think a left-hand turn lane does there come you must be worse than miscellany. who's talking about a turn signal? but it is coming in now, it's a way to allow conversations to happen any time that honestly what happens in our cities happens in a lot of cities. particularly the local papers are losing staff would be used or three people to cover city government and now they don't even have one full-time person. it gets harder and harder for people to get news about what is happening in the city. you know, my twitter page has become crying out for news. i try to model that actually after my hero and a guy who was mentored me for the last 10 months. his name is cory booker. if you ever go to twitter -- i don't know when he sleeps. he was there at 3:00 a.m. literally. he retreats with an answer.
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any psychologist number. i honestly don't know how he does that, but he answers it all himself. you can tell it's often because a lot of it a staffer would never write. they just never way. you know, typos. but you know, his heart is in the job and that comes through. i know he's turned a lot of cynics into believers. >> and he has time to save people from burning buildings. >> i know. this guy written into a burning building and pulled a woman now. i'm like, what's the tax rate? nobody cares. tough to compete. >> rate, while thank you. any questions in the audience? we've got a couple mics. if you can just wait, we will do upfront here and in the back. >> high, frances stalled arose from george washington university. i have to pick and choose my
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questions here, but a leader cannot go it alone, so to engage the projects and realize your vision, what existing networks do you engage and what kind of expertise are challenged to make sure to include in your leadership? this is for the mayor. >> out is a great question. i think there's many ways to do that on the local level in particular. i mention before i had the opportunity to shape a team of department had to work on my behalf, be it economic director, city treasurer and oftentimes you have an opportunity to appoint these people. so you want to pick people that know more about this subject than i do, people that will challenge me. the people i respected mouse when i interviewed them coming in no know, tommy if i don't agree with you or this is the wrong way to go, i will issue no because i want to make an
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educated decision that will affect the public. so folks who work or meet who look at the best of the city of really important and sometimes leaders are sometimes intimidated by having people be smarter than them or whatever to surround them. that is definitely the way to go to have a good team. in my position i don't have time. obviously to do every economic development project, you figure out whether or not a decision i want to make his legal for the city ordinances. i don't have time to fix the sidewalks, but we have to good people, experts in the field and not as from the best experiences getting really good people. i pointed the new structure of economic development, the first puerto rican later. we are the first puerto rican city solicitor to speak the language of the people who live in the city. but again, you have to be able to build coalitions. i think that often goes hand-in-hand with transparency. yet the conversation commission,
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you know, folks, same people have been in this commissions for 20, 30 years. we need to get new people on this commission and often time the charm or come up and they would be reappointed in for the first time in a long time, we would send out a press release. we are looking for new applications and not to my surprise, but other people surprise we get applications for people want to be in our conversation. on the local level, volunteers have a lot of power to make decisions about projects. you have to go through the conservation committee, and those numbers don't get paid anything, but they want to get back to the city. it's not fair to your neighbor who's been wanting to be involved in municipal government in some ways. said to be more transparent, we also couple months ago because
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he is such a high population of spanish speakers, we've been able to partner with our community college to provide spanish classes to a municipal employees or firefighters or police officers. and not enough of our clerk and other stuff on city hall are bilingual, want to make sure the opportunities available for staff. again, we provided long-term vision and really rely in our department has make sure it happens. so it's important to good people, and i do. >> i would agree with that. i think particularly, you've got to figure it out when you are the dumbest person in the room, you know you are going to come up with a good decision. if you are the decision-maker on everyone making a decision is smarter than you, you are in a good position. that is one of the most poor decisions you can make is your legal counsel, city attorney.
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i show a young man, who i thought i was getting the smartest attorney in the city and i ended up getting the smartest one in the state. i mean, this guy something else. it is amazing how small decision like that, one out of a couple dozen to make every day, a decision to get the best person you can't, pay off every single time. every single day it pays dividends because of the work is able to do. another thing you do is be aware. this takes a lot of self-awareness. you have to know where blogspot sorry. know what it is you don't know. i talk about the strength young people bring. i joke with the staff that what i lack in experience and make up for in ignorance. or at the very least feigned ignorance. i couldn't do that? okay, sorry. but you know, while it can be a strength, fighting groups, what
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i've done is i've assembled a small group, instead of one kitchen cabinet at several who give me advice and input in who come from different areas of the community. sometimes they go well and sometimes they argue. but the decision comes out on the other side. can the social media be great, particularly when we also have a lot of loose the committee, about 3000 in the city to help us govern and we too were looking for other people, average age in the city is 20 years old. average age on the board of a committee, many times older than not. we need to find a way to get young people and people of color. facebook and twitter was the way to apply. but the second part of your question, what skills can use to keep them motivated and to keep
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them with you. one thing i try to do as i have a certain vision for the city and every day when i wake up in everyday before i to sleep, think about what i'm going to do that day and i think back what i did that day. i think how much of my time on what percentage of my time was spent advancing. if it's only 60 or 70%, i know i'm not doing well. but if there is an idea that helps advance the stores those goals, at the very least doesn't distract, the people i like are people that i chaska met people smart and hard-working on the city council or a member of the community. whenever they come to me with another idea or an initiative they would like to start for a project of that to work on, your instinct after a while is you take 12 meetings the day and many say enough, no more new
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meetings, projects or ideas. whenever possible i distract them were going, try to get to yes. whatever it is i want to do, i try to be supportive of their vision because i think when people can see themselves for filling a vision that they have, for the work they want, they will stay motivated and will keep working hard. so this is another sort of corny thing, but we say we don't like any. we want more yes. if you are no person, you are not welcome in city hall. if i say will have the left hand turning lane, it won't work for this. you can say yes, and were going to have to think about how wide the road needs to be. yes, and we have to think about enforcement. yes and we have to think about the cost. but when you begin with no counter malicious people down and demotivate people, so we tried to get gas and know no
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bias. >> i think there is a hand in the back. yes? >> hi, so first off, thank you all of you for coming. i came. i kanamycin a question might be a little bit redundant. i was at a review. also, just special attention to mayor myrick. i am cornell, class that has been following your story for quite a while now. fantastic way to represent. the rest of you guys are cool, too. but my question is more towards the younger people in the field of politics. in the situations where you don't forge bonds with other cities, dealing with the state level, how do guys really overcome more towards the good old boys network that is still very much an extent, still there and still a force. how do you come especially being so young, you have used in the
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academic background, so how do you guys encounter that, especially because in some situations it is amazingly infuriating. >> i will take quickly been five years now and to my lack of experience, you sort of learn the backstabbing. that gets a little more comfortable. you learn the names on the faces of the not work, but honestly, as much as bh can sort of out of the network, it also brings an attention that's positive. they know -- they know who i am in the the new york state capitl because i remember, i like to think that young charming mayor, but they actually say the boring manner. but at least they remember it
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may remember that at a meeting and they remember is this a bit unusual. google still after my sabbatical is an unusual. what was unusual was the person asking is a bit younger. so it keeps fresh in their mind, particularly in d.c. the same is true. so when you're not 20, 30 years of political connection come you haven't been donating to campaigns are active in other foes survey says, that can be -- are met. so i think you try to play to your strengths as much as possible and part of my strength when it comes to the advocacy is being unique. >> i completely agree with that. you now, so maybe before i got elected, you live in holyoke? when you live in holyoke? you had that young mayor and holyoke. so it does in a superficially change the image of the city
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overnight, which just the positive attention given on the city as an individual, whether i like it or not and for the city. be it political adversaries, people in elected office that i may not be their favorite coming in now, they recognize there is a lot of attention now because of my age. it's a great thing obviously when you're elected you have the support of vote of the people and most importantly, people respect that. so i won with 53% of the vote or not the same article when i run again next year, to get more than not, to win people over. unobvious flake on me want to win people over. it is a challenge, an exciting challenge to connect with people who didn't work, who may not support you, but as mayor you are in a position where you can make a bigger difference. i wasn't on the council before i became mayor. i was campaigning my entire senior year at brown. i came back against other folks
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established in politics. i think people recognize my election is unique and people wanted something different. so the folks on the council just gets tiring after a while. we really want to support, for example, to be realized. i think there's some great veteran city counselor. you know, joe mcgivern one for example a supporter of me to make sure we get the mayor the tools he needs to proceed, beat displeasure with? priorities for the city, so i found while people will be opposed to never vote for me, it is really about the people and keep in touch with the people. when i'm having a bad day or politics as discouraging me coming in now, in an afternoon, for example, just walk outside of city hall and have a conversation with someone saying you're doing a great job. i remember meeting you last year. forever negative story of his
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job, there's 10 more people coming up in thanking you for everything you're doing. that is the most important part of the job. it's not about people with the money, people like to marry you. it's the average folks who don't see everyday double vote for you and support you and that's the most important thing to remember in a position like this. >> the mayor, like president obama says someone you're elected to represent everyone who voted for you or not. >> we will take one year. right here with other couple. >> are in thompson, junior at georgetown. so my question is more pertinent to the national stage, who saw a huge turnout, but afterwards with a common theme that our candidate won, but we lost. ron paul was able to drive a
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debate, but they're needed and didn't win the primary, so no longer part of that. my question is, how do we keep millennialist onto the national political scene, which might not be, as you said, the forefront of the politics, but it is where more and more things are getting decided in foreign affairs is a huge thing. so how do we keep engaged and involved in this when we were in a constant cycle and if you're not keeping our attention span, which is very short, which was shut down. >> we will grab one more here. >> hi, my name is jack welty, freshman year at georgetown. my question is similar. polarization is definitely where that gets tossed around a lot when talking about american politics. i hear from a lot of people my age that the two sides of our democracy spend the entire time fighting and no time fixing anything. i just wonder what you guys
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would say to someone my age and what we can do moving forward and why they should be interested and involved. >> i tried not to be one of the most frustrating arguments. you try to get people registered to vote. i don't vote because politics is so tiny. it is like saying it's too polluted, i am not going to plant a tree. who fixes politics? who fixes government but us. if you believe politics, the best thing you can do is register to vote and register for whichever party or candidate isn't behaving in those negative and obstructionist ways. you get to a point, like i said, even in my race, two years out of college, the campus community was certainly aware that we registered hundreds of them and they just didn't show why. i think what i've found is when you talk to people and really
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hear the story about why they first started coding or why they volunteered to campaign, people and up running for office. it's amazing how many people at a party for the school board or city council or mayor because sometimes some years ago they tried to get in the first time at city hall, the first time understanding how government affected them and they got hooked on it once they started seeing how government works are close. the problem is sometimes it takes quite a while in your life. sometimes it happens when you're 18 or 22, when something clicks, you have a run-in with government and you think, wow, this is important. a lot of times it doesn't happen until you're in your 30s and it is exactly how much is taken out of your taxes each week or you're trying to afford your mortgage, or your kids you're trying to send to college. or kids to go to war.
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are you retired server line of social security or medicare. a lot of the things they really thought bother people and get them to focus on government happening later in life. but i think we did a better job of branding. or indian or the things that affect us early in life and let us know, was headstart important for you? government. this free lunch important to you? government. did you take the school bus? government. letting people know that all of these things that we sort of think of as a part of the world, police officers, if we do a better job, people making decisions, people who make decisions that directly impact you, that's the stuff you get hooked on voting, not because the candidate is cool or because -- just because it's an election year. they stay hooked forever. >> politics are polarized. the greatest thing about being mayor is often times it's not
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partisan. so the great thing obviously is there's no democrat or republican way to fill a pothole. on a local level, we cannot touch this then. we had to balance the budget. there's things we have to do is mayor to solve problems. when you look at polling nationally, mayors are often the most popular politicians compared to congress on their 14% approval rating which is come out over the couple days. as mayor you can solve problems. sometimes in an hour, sometimes two hours. my mentor and former mayor now congress is one of the things he misses most if someone called and you could give them an answer and solve the problem and it's so very. not in a politically toxic environment, we can't get anything done. sometimes it may feel like that and a local level, but one thing always surprising us to more people vote than vote for the mayor. i understand why, but at the same time in the more people
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vote for city counselors and chief executive officer in the city. the number of decisions that come across my desk every single day, the number of people i point to positions, it really matters who's in those positions. it affects everybody in the city. if you don't have a voice come you are missing out that opportunity. to your question about making sure we sustain that, nationwide resort of last and opportunity, be that the high school to go in and people civics and government. we have become a country so obsessed that we don't focus anymore on art or civics and government, community service. something of mandating community service, things like financial literacy come in making sure people don't check or take a long or how to buy a house. those are things that have huge implications for community and families and we do not talk about that enough, especially at
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the middle and high school level. way to instill in young people in a nonpartisan way, the importance of being an active practice in your community. >> pro quick, there is a phenomenon with people so disillusioned with congress, especially in national races, they just can't have a say. so if you get those people interested in voting, great, if not, there's local elections, town hall meetings, volunteered, so many things on the local level that have huge impacts the people tossed out. and again, i'm not quite sure why they are so much more focused on national elections, were arguably it could be harder to have your vote or your voice heard loudly versus the local, but there's a lot of avenues and people who don't vote in national elections should not be cast aside and totally ignored. the mac do you have thoughts on
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keeping millennial synthase quick >> i guess that's the question of the hour, or many hours. you know, what the mayor said is really a matter of bringing politics to the individual in a way that's meaningful and engaging. we're sort of not utilizing the education system are just the education system in many opportunities to get physically involved. you are right to say on means of assessing capabilities, but when in fact they don't resonate well with what one does in a society or how one participates. creating means for democracy are useful. for this program you have to read a statement. what i wrote about his many ways the way we get people to vote are somewhat antiquated or anachronistic. you know, we go to a poll, you know, high school, what have you, one day a week where you don't get off of work, don't get off of school.
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this stands in contrast with the array of other tasks retaken would pay her taxes online. we don't utilize the same tools for arguably the most thing in democracy. to me it to me it seemed weird to get people physically involved are engaged and that is kind of bread-and-butter. but on the other hand, we have to use and exercise the tools available to us. we talk about social media, that's true, but the basic things that the internet, which reaches some pain like 70% of americans. use that to get the vote. i assure you that a younger person will feel more clients use that to vote than taking off for school or work or what have you to go to a polling center. that to me is a fairly doable ways to fix it. >> that's a great point. >> we are running out of time, but we can do to mark questions that we have quick answers.
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>> no promises over there. how about this lady here. i would be two ladies. how about right here. >> i actually have a question. i'm a sophomore at georgetown. at a question about diversity and the mayor spoke about how they were trying to increase what they were talking about the initiative they had taken in the city level. i was wondering if there were any more initiatives that the cities were taking to increase diversity at a local level in the administration. >> well, we sort of feedback challenge on different levels. there is diversity within our organization, staff and volunteers that we recruit a diverse array of volunteers. but also, we have the workforce diversity committee that is changed our ongoing training
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processes so employees are always getting what they and the environment and a lot of times it's a reminder of diversity in the minds of a lot of people. use a diversity is black, white, and not thinking about the full spectrum of ethnicity or full spectrum of diversity that could be religious. it could be orientation, could be gender diversity. a lot are not gender diverse. our fire department is almost entirely white. and, so we continue to struggle with that. but we want our organizations to be a reflection in the wider community. we believe that infrastructure is an indication in so many ways. a small example is the parking space. it is an invitation for what? a part.
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you turn into a situation for people to set, have lunch. how we choose to develop our city and where we choose to probe will also be an invitation. so if we put low-income housing on one side of the city and high-income housing on the other, we are enforcing, what authority a segregated community. but since that, the most exciting thing in our city right now with a million dollars loan and support from a whole other host of other funding agencies, we have a not-for-profit five-story apartment building this actually makes income. so you check the incomes of people and make sure they are of assert level. a third of the apartments will be market. a third is for people who make 80% of the median income or lower in the third as people who
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make 40% are lower. they're actually going to be assigned on a first-come first-served basis. so won't be the nicest apartments on the top. people will actually be living close to each other where they are on the most number of people anyway. so we try with the physical environment and you touched on a great point. if you ever want to see what a city can do to address the larger sort of social and cultural and economic trends, with city planning and infrastructure development, you should read a book called the power broker. i'm sorry, about robert moses by robert caro and you possibly could read some work, too. you see it is that the local level have a larger impact on things like diversity and access to opportunity and access to employment. >> that is a very important
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point and i agree with almost everything the mayor just that. also in terms of access to food, access to transportation, downtown holyoke churchville, just by means of us they were doing a public investment, right now we have an $8 million senior center. for example, the decision of where you place an investment in projects can make a huge impact on the people who live in those neighborhoods. we also build our city's first skateboard park. they can even vote, but we invest a quarter of a million dollars and a skateboard park and put it downtown. decisions make a huge difference for people who live downtown. we just a few weeks ago -- we're the process of bringing back our authority to assist her economic development office. to do that we have to have an ambitious urban renewal plan. a few weeks ago we announced a planned that connects her downtown neighborhoods, now's restoration making sure people
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have access to transportation, things like food could we have neighborhoods in our city where people can get healthy food, or mcdonald's is the closest thing to a live and that's a problem in sending our local planning department has to deal with, not something the state and federal government to allow, but they gave resources in grants to do to make sure people make sure everyone in the community are also common diversity of the staff. i remember when i said i ran for mayor, that's where the latinos live. tonight when it come but anyway. you've got to focus if you want to win the election. so we rejected those notions from the beginning, knocked on every door and it made a difference. the fact that i am the first mayor to speak spanish is speaks volumes to the spanish speaking community. i remember doorknocking. i'm a wacko with red hair. if you don't speak spanish, no
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one is opening the door. i'm either crazy or more men knocking on the door. just to speak some of language, connect with somebody like no other. that is what was important to offer spanish classes and important for me to not only hire the best people, but look like people they can relate to because this is the one time thing where they are voting. it's a process. so why not for reelection again, what to make sure some of the steps we've done to have a more inclusive government, really made an impact because it's not going to happen when election. three of four elections down the road, do we see higher voter participation rates from young people in the community, those are really important. even young people nationally. it won't take one election. it's a change in institutions and when we talk about issues that will make an impact. >> i promised him a question, but we're running out of time. i don't know that we did short answers. i would like to think both
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mayors for being with us as well as mohammed and rachel. it has been an interesting discussion and we hope this provided insight for the audience as well. so thank you very much. [applause]
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>> almost 20 years ago with rock cats one of the most controversial stories in our 44 years on the air. it was called yes, but is it ours? i was accused of being a philistine, someone like in the aesthetic sensibility to appreciate the challenging nature of some contemporary art. in those 20 years, words that i questioned worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are now worth hundreds of millions. >> so what made everybody so mad 20 years ago? >> i discovered something that i could absolutely barely believe.
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when you question someone's taste in our, it is more personal, more probing than politics, religion, preference. it is just something that goes to the very soul. you bought that? r >> c-span gives a great inside look to what's happening in washington. whenever that happens, it will always come back to you and changes your view because it's different than regular media because it's very objective and it shows a lot of what is real and what is going on. i watched hearings on c-span and
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when the senate and house both on different bills, we watched them from the office and also come on the supreme court has hearings, we watched decisions and opinions. >> and a senate reelection bid this year, new jersey democrat, bob menendez faces a challenge from state senator joe kyrillos. the two met tonight at montclair state university. this comes from us, courtesy of transport. step two we welcome you to the first debate between the first two major candidates for the u.s. senate.
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u.s. senator bob menendez, democratic incumbent and his republican challenger, state senator joe kyrillos. questioning tonight, alfred doblin, the editorial editor of "the record and herald news." brigid callahan harrison, professor political science at my here at montclair state university. herb jackson, washington correspondent for the record. and my colleague, michael aron for njtv. we have questions reported earlier by the news director of wbgo-fm, doug doyle throughout the court pass. here are the rules. each candidate was 90 seconds for an opening and closing statement and each will have 60 seconds to answer questions for our panel. then we will build onto the next question. there is a title like that keeps us on schedule and it is my job to try to enforce a timing light. the audience has promised once again can make my job a bit easier and show proper respect to candidates by holding a pause until we end this broadcast.
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if you'd like to join the conversation during the broadcast, follow us on twitter using the hash tag mj debate. we tossed a coin. senator kyrillos goes first. your opening statement. kyrillos: mike, thank you very much. thank you to the record at montclair state and you senator menendez for this debate. you know, i love this country. i love america. all of us are blessed to call america home. i am a product of the american dream. my grandparents came to this country and later, my father. and they lived a great american dream life. i grew up. i went to school, became a state senator and i stand before you tonight a candidate for the united states senate. but that american dream is in
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peril. it is in peril for my son and daughter and our children and grandchildren across the land and we need to make a change. now, if you think things are just fine, but things are okay here in new jersey and across the land, well, you will choose my opponent again. but if you think that unemployment doubling, dabbling under his watch, the deficits quadrupling, our national debt doubling is unacceptable, then you are going to make the change and you will choose me. i believe in america and i believe we can do better. >> senator menendez. menendez: thank you tour debate sponsors. and please to be with senator
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kyrillos. my life has taught me who i stand up for and who i stand up to in the united states senate. not in the united states senators grew up in its unimak, but i did. my family worked hard to get us into the middle class, which is why the good paying jobs here in new jersey to make sure women enjoy equal pay for equal work. early in my career, i risk my life testifying against a corrupt official and that's why wasn't afraid to stand up to wall street, big banks, credit card companies have ripped off consumers. my sister and i cared for her mother and so we lost her to alzheimer's. that is why fight against her in companies that deny people coverage based on preexisting conditions and to make sure that we dominated the doughnut hole, the cap for prescription drugs for seniors. without the belief that one teacher had in me and holograms, i wouldn't be standing here before you today. that is why fight for funding for thousands of teachers to
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stay in the classroom teaching our kids than to make sure colleges more affordable by expanding pell grants and making sure loan interest rates were low. my experience has been like so many millions of new jerseyans, who work hard every day to try and advance the hopes and dreams and aspirations of their children. but the middle classes under attack and that is why fight back in the united states senate to create good jobs, good health care quality education and retirement security we all deserve. >> moderator:, senator, time for the first questions for me. when all is said and done, the campaign seemed to have slid into a familiar theme, which we've seen each and every election season, which is portraying your opponents in ways that voters have heard time and time again. the republican, senator kyrillos, you are per trade as a friend of the rich, someone who'll make the the middle class pay more because the rich
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shouldn't have any sort of implications of taxes change. senator menendez, you were portrayed as a been a liberal. let's move beyond clichés right now. tommy specifically, what one thing about your opponent makes him less qualified than you deserve in the u.s. senate. senator kyrillos come you go first. kyrillos: well, senator menendez mentioned the middle class, mention them tonight, does it fairly often. but bob, the middle class is not doing very well at all. we've got to do better. and so, you know, i read the press releases that she put out and i have heard your opening statement, but i don't hear any action items about how we are going to do a better. so i've got a plan. i know that if we do what we have been doing, more of the same, we will have the same
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outcome and that is unacceptable for the people of new jersey and unacceptable for america. so let's do some things differently. if your way works, we would have 43 straight months of a percent plus unemployment. let's get the job done. >> senator menendez. >> my opponent would take us back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. that is the biggest disqualifier. when he had an opportunity committee voted against raising the minimum wage and then voted for tax rates for millionaires. when he had an opportunity coming ultimately cut funding for education that led to classroom teachers leapt out of their classrooms. when he had a chance to stand up for women in our state and vote for equal pay for equal work, he walked out, didn't cast a vote. when he had an opportunity to vote for women in terms of health care, not once, not twice, but six times he voted against women's health care in
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our state. i bet millions of dollars to help those women be able to get health care. so, when i listen to his jobs program, which is basically a rehash of taxes for the wealthiest people in the country, that didn't jive us to the type of job creation we want to see. we've been through that picture before and it's failed and that's why we can't go back to it. >> senator menendez. >> the subject of medicare featured prominently in last night's presidential debate. governor romney talked about shifting people currently under the age of 55 to a voucher like program for health care when they reach age 65. president obama's affordable care act does not offer a truly long-term fix to medicare. so, what is your plan to keep medicare solid while not forcing seniors to fend for themselves? >> well, for me, medicare is not
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an esoteric debate. my mom who worked in the factories of new jersey, where char to get us into the middle class in the twilight of her life she was fighting alzheimer's. medicare was her health care security. they made a difference with her to live in dignity. that's why under the act on trent affordable care act we extended life until 2024. that's why we'll continue to look at the life of medicare as some of what we did it beginning to eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse. that is part of why we extend the life of medicare by stopping over payments to insurance companies prospectively and also maybe i don't know that warren buffett and bill gates made medicare. so maybe we have to look at what type of means testing should be considered to ensure the life of
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the program continues to expand. we have our new worked for its expansion. >> moderator: senator kyrillos. kyrillos: well, we can strengthen medicare and tell our members of congress and other leaders admit there is a problem. as i watch the congress in action, i get the sense that they are not sure there is a real issue at hand. they talk a lot about it, but they don't really do anything about it. so the first thing we need to do is be intellectually honest, point out pitfalls, point out the future and make real change for people my age and up, i am 52 years old, these days, well, things are just fine. for my children and four grandchildren and seniors today concerned about their grandchildren, we have to do
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some things differently. so let's work together, look at all the factors and not look at this from a point of view of ideology or partisanship, but practicality. this is a math problem and we need to fix it. >> next question for senator kyrillos directly from brigid harrison. >> the part of your campaign to reduce taxes for all americans by 20%, paid for by tax preferences and exclusions. if reducing income taxes is your goal, how would you propose to tackle our $16 trillion debt? and if your response include spending cuts, can you please specify the programs you would cut besides public funding for television proposed by governor romney last night and whether these cuts are politically feasible.
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>> well, we have to raise revenue and i want to do it through growth. i want to lower tax rates. i want to make sure america doesn't have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, which is what we have now to lower the rates for everybody. you know, my opponent supports a plan that will increase the rates for everybody, beginning in january. he doesn't need to vote on it. it doesn't have to be considered. this is not a theory. this is on schedule. and so, when that happens, you can be sure we are going to lose jobs. we are going to stunt the economy. and so, the debt problem of our country is a severe one. it is that a crisis point. we need to grow revenue and we need to look at spending emanates a look at everything through a present of what do we need, what can we afford, that which we may want what we want,
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but really can't afford we have to look in a very careful and honest way, unlike a way we been doing it. >> senator menendez. >> well, i would like to lower corporate rates, to, but you have to offset it by closing tax loopholes because otherwise you drive up to and that is what we see the past continue to do. so if we are going to lower everyone's rate as my opponent would like, that means less revenue to the treasury. so it has to come from somewhere. let me give you suggestions. i'd like to in $24 billion in tax breaks to the big oil companies who will make a trillion dollars in profits over the next 10 years. i don't think when they make a trillion dollars in profits they need our $24 billion in tax breaks. we can ultimately use that for debt reduction. i don't think we should be spending $6 billion in methanol
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subsidies. i don't think we should use any offshore tax havens estimate from users. i think there should be closed. so those are a series of things we can do. we are not talking about raising anybody's taxes. there is a lot there should be closed. so i think those are concrete examples of how you begin to move in that direction. >> moderator: we have a pretaped quest and the economy that comes from wbgo-fm's misdirect turkana doug doyle. let's listen to it. >> while so many people in the suburban town already get too much of the federal and state funding, what initiatives would you put in place to make sure jobs are created in the inner cities, at trenton, newark and jersey city? >> moderator: senator menendez, you're up first. menendez: and product initiatives in urban areas of our state. the reality is that transit villages, what we incentivize the new transportation bill is a
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great opportunity to do that. i am glad to see with my leadership has chaired the subcommittee on mass transit, new jersey will see the highest rated transit funding in the state's history, an additional $70 million dollars mars looking at saving and are creating 52,000 jobs. a lot of those villages and opportunities are right in urban areas, using advantage of our infrastructure. livable communities. my legislation in that regard help communities that are not only urban, but more suburban, but close to suburban areas would create greater development opportunity as well. and so, we will continue to work with these communities so that in fact they can release to feature their their citizens. >> moderator: senator kyrillos. kyrillos: as they move around
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the cities in new jersey, i am so sad to see the poverty, to see the unemployment, to see things haven't gotten better, that our national economy is such that it is even worse in the cities of new jersey. i work really hard in my career in the state senate to fight for jobs, for economic development, for specific economic development initiatives as leader of the economic development committee when i was in the majority and now, many of those incentive programs targeted to the urban areas of our state and many successes as well. i want to improve our schools in new jersey cities as well. we want to have some new reforms, the kind senator menendez doesn't do want to support. the opportunity scholarship act, the parent trigger a lot that i
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am sponsoring so parents can get a hold of failing schools. >> moderator: time, senator. senator kyrillos the question goes to you. >> chairman of the republican state committee, senator menendez, you are once chairman of the house democratic caucus. these are jobs you don't get without being a reliable member of your party and you even sometimes have to enforce party discipline. three of the most partisan congress other than disapproval rating is 14%. what will you do to break the gridlock? will you ever join groups like the gang of six trying to find common solutions on the budget deficit? kyrillos: have been a reformer in the state legislature my whole career, including another state chairman, i sure to connect myself as a voice for the people when they didn't agree with the incumbent
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governor at the time. not just for republican activists, but for everybody. this is one of the biggest differences between senator menendez than me. bob is very rigid in a very ideological. i want to work with everybody. i want to work with republicans. i want to work with democrats. i work at independence. i want to work with whoever the president is. president romney or president obama. the problem with our country in washington is that it doesn't match the greatness of the people. these guys don't communicate with each other. they don't get the job done and i'm going to go down there and get it done. menendez: first of all, i've reached out to the other side. new jersey is the highest rate of autism in the nation. i reached out to the republican senator from wyoming to my past the act into law, critical for
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those families. iran is the national security threat to the united states and state of israel. i joined with the republican senator from illinois would pass the most crippling sanctions by one country against another and god in 100 to zero vote in the united states senate, something you don't see too often. working with republican senator from nebraska is the chair of the housing subcommittee, we passed into law housing for the disabled in this country. those are three of many examples were ever could republican senators on the other side to make a difference for new jersey families. now, his record is 90% of his votes are in line with his party in the state legislature. every time his colleagues want to seek an override, he is never found once an opportunity to join them and say no, we disagree with the front office. >> next question to senator menendez. >> senator menendez, your
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colleague frank lautenberg and senator christy snipe of the time. you have a chilly relationship with governor christie dating back to 2006 when you are the target an investigation that went nowhere. by contrast one of chris christie's best friends. might this state be better off with instead of two enemies in the u.s. senate, one enemy in one front? kyrillos: i disagree when you say i was enemy of the governor. i would help the governor get one of the best insurance pools under the new law, the affordable care act that new jersey got in the nation. he asked me to help him get a good deal from the department of human services. i did. as the governor's enemy, i would have got the greatest on a transit money working to maximize formulas to achieve
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greater amounts of money for new jersey transit riders and economic opportunity. if i was the enemy, i would have joined in and advocated with him, with all those disaster declarations that we succeeded in getting so we could convince the president to send money to new jersey to help new jersey residents. ..
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under your watch, bob. and the things you say with regard to your work with the governor, and the state government, those are things you should do. that's part of the job description of being the united states senator. those aren't special. that's part of the inbasket. what we're talking about here is the ability to communicate with the governor whoever he is, with the rest of the congressional delegation with other membe of congress from around the country to produce positive outcome. why talk to people, what i hear is there's no real evidence of it. this panel knows me. people around the state know me they know we have a different style. that's what we need in washington right now. these guys don't get things done. i'm proud of governor christy. i think he's doing a good job. we see things often, if most the
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most of the people. with we are different people. we have both have the best interest of the state the at heart. >> [inaudible] this will be a surprise i'm going go to transportation. [laughter] the future of amtrak has still been a political football between democrats and republicans and between representatives from rural areas versus urban areas. is the future of amtrak tied to privateship would you support the privatization of the northeast? >> listen, i love taking the amtrak down to washington, d.c. i hope to do it a lot more by the way starting in january. and i don't want to jeopardize that. i want to make sure that we get the job done. we want to fight for our share of dollars here in the northeast. it's very important. and i'm going to be a champion
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in that regard. if there is a partnership that makes sense, i'm open to listening to it. if we can private disiez in a way that ensures service and quality and gets the job done, and fares are reasonable and people can move from boston to new york to washington, let's take a look at it. let's not dig our heels in to some corner. let's understand the realities,ing the practicality, what is at stake for amtrak and everything. i'm about making things work. >> senator? >> i hope you will visit me a lot on amtrak. and we welcome you to our office. i'll give you a capitol tour. but look on amtrak, here's the reality. this is critically important in inner city passenger rail travel. it is important for commerce, for businesses to be able to
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send their sales forces throughout the northeast corner. it's important to our citizens who deposit to hospital and maybe need some specialty go in the northeast corner. it's important in a post september 11th world we found multimodes of transportation is important. there's a security element of it. ultimately, it is one of the largest forms of transportation today. they are bustles on amtrak. you sometimes can't get a seat on amtrak these days. the northeast corner and the particular amtrak system is something i fought for and see continue to preserve. >> brijt has a question for senator men then does. >> you mentioned your sponsorship of the iran sanction resolution. regarding iran's pursuit of nuclear capability. do you feel how much time we can
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give sanctions the chance to work. what option do you advocate employing to stop iran's nuclear capability. menendez: thank you for the question. iran is a nationality threat to the united states and to our ally the state of israel. that's why i authored the most -- against another against the central bank of iran and against any country that deals with a central bank of iran a major financial oil transaction and the result of that we saw on news report. the reality rating -- the numbers of the shipments of oil dramatically reduce. hurting the iranian economy. our purpose with that set of sanctions and an additional set of sanctions i coauthored is to create an economic news on the iranian regime to deter them from seeking nuclear weapons. ability the sanctions have time
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and prime minister netanyahu suggested it's sometime next year. if the sanctions don't cripple the iranian economy, i think question deter them. if not all options have to be on the table to pursue the national secure interest of the united states. >> that all sounds fine. unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the sanctions are working. too little too late. and it's a very fearful time time for our country, and for the world at large. and so i know that as a member of the senate, i'm going to do everything humanly possible through my vote, through advocacy, and in every other way to make sure that iran never, never gets a nuclear weapon. this is the greatest threat to
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our country, and to the world. and i just hope that folks watching understand what is at stake. you mentioned the prime minister of israel, senate, i find it inexpoliceble he was here in our country, an amtrak train ride away from the white house i department get a chance to meet with him. it makes me nervous. >> the next question. >> another foreign policy question, senator, you have criticized senator men mendes -- quote, when the mission is complete, we will bring the troops home. and you defined the mission as disables al qaeda and disables the taliban. the taliban are at least sub bornly persistent. are you prepared to see u.s. troops stay indefinite nately.
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>> i said at this point i agree with the timeline. we want to bring the men and women back home. what trouble -- what troubles me is that when we make decisions for political purposes. perhaps for election purposes, and i'm not sure that flagging our intentions to put out definitely time lines was and would be the smartest answer. you have people that want to do us harm. you have the taliban there think about human beings differently than we do. we know about the atrocity to women. and so what we haven't done a good enough job is inning the educating our country about the bad guys that exist that we need to meet them offshore before
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they come on shore. it's only been ten years and a little more. since 9/11. >> moderator: your response, sir. menendez: first of all, applaud the president from having bring our sons and daughters. i war we should have never been in. a war i voted against in when was in the house of representatives. i have been -- counterterrorism versus counter counterinsurgency. it means we're trying to pop up a government in afghanistan and we fight against the taliban to prop them up. a counterterrorism requires farless troops and national treasure and focusing on striking at al qaeda along the afghan-pakistan border as well as at any taliban resurgent we might need for the purpose of being able to execute our court terrorism fight.
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so i believe that the draw down in afghanistan is well positioned. i'm actually an advocate of hunting that is more accelerated. i have been for quite some time. i believe then we focus on a counterterrorism effort that would be less lives and national treasure. >> moderator: next question from senator from . >> we lock back on the economy. you say you support a comprehensive solution for the deficit that includes revenues and cuts and spending. can you name one wasteful program that you successfully eliminated while you've been in congress. menendez: yes, the f-22. i voted to -- this is something that even the pentagon did not want. the administration did not want this were those advocating against fip voted against it when was cut, by the way. i vote on a different alternative fighter engine that was not necessary as well.
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that was cut. and those are two examples of programs that are cut. listen, what i don't want to do is what my o'o- point says. he embraces the ryan budget. which is the ryan budget do? it ends medicare. makes it a vowture. privatize the social security, dray matily cuts assistance to education in our country. as someone who grew up poor in a tenement. i want pell grants and perkins loans out there and keeping student interest rates loan. so every child can achieve a education and the ability to work hard. >> moderator: senator? we have a joe budget. that i will work on and advocate for and comprise along the way with that sacrifice principle with my colleagues. and with executive branch.
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bob, there you go. you talk about congressman ryan, it's more of the same. it it's always the other guy's fault. you have been there a long time. your party has been in the majority in the senate now for a long time. i think your entire term. and so i have some very specific plans. we have discipline here in new jersey. it's not always pretty. but when we deal our state budget, we do what we need to do. we don't get to print money and so we work hard and have at los in the last few years to make things right. we spend 24% of the economy on government. i want to get it down to historic place of closer to 20% over time. that's doing it take work and that's going to take some time we in the time. we have no choice. >> moderator: a question for senator ky riel loss.
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>> as a united states senator you would be called upon to vote up or down on supreme court nominee. do you have a test for judges and specifically to you senator, could you vote in the affirmative for a justice who you believe might find the defensive marriage act which determines that same-sex coupleses are not quited to federal benefits unconstitutional when it goes to you could you vote in the affirmative for a justice that mighters are vow v wade. menendez: i'm not going have a test like that. i had experience helping to nominate judges, confirming judges to the state peer your court and the state supreme court as a member of the judiciary and the member of the state senate. i'm going to look to nominees for the intelligent, their
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experience, for their predispositions to not legislate from the bench, and look to nominees of the president of either party and treat them fairly. as i have in the past. >> moderator: senator. glen i agree with my opponent the various elements is very important to anyone who wants to be a diswruj or justice of the supreme court. certainly intelligent, temperament, experience, observe of the rule of law, precedent. but the supreme court is the final word of what is the law of the land. and so therefore yeah, i don't want see more just is schee ya who say discrimination against women and discrimination based on yearned is not protected under the constitution.
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it says equal justice under law. does not say equal justice for some people in america and not for others. and as it relates to row row roe v. wade. i support. my opponent self-identified as pro-life. now he's pro-choice. you cannot permit a selection to someone who goes on the question of choice that is multiple choice. >> brijt harris. >> there was a industry complain that the 2010 affordable care act will be expensive and will come in to prosets and slowly already snailed pace economic recovery. how do you respond critics that the economic burden of implementing the policy will line up costing even more american jobs. menendez: first first of all what did we have pfort law? -- unsustainable for the private
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sector who wants to offer insurance. unsustainable for the government and family who may not get it at work. needs to purchase it. that was the reality before the law. all of that is largely done away with the affordable care act when we goat full implementation. many small business in the our state have already begun to get access to the subsidizes to offer insurance and so controlling costs, moving to a preventive health care system and making sure that we end the discrimination on insurance and making people are covered so they're not driving the cost in emergency is going to go. >> moderator: senator.
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0. >> i've been clear about my position on life. we can talk about it now or at another time. with regard to judges, i think at some point we'll talk about the judge that you held up for so long in a contrast that to my record of supporting women to the bench. but the question at hand was, the affordable care act. well, listen, there's no question that we have big challenges in our country and there are elements of so called obamacare. i saw last night you didn't mind having refer that way. we have to have. and i supported them here in new jersey. people that preexisting illnesses should be covered. young dpults, should have some time, perhaps to stay on their parent's policies.
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but this law comes at the very, very high cost. >> moderator: time. >> twenty new taxes. $760 billion on medicare. >> moderator: time. next question from michael. >> senator, earlier in the debate you said as you often do that the country is experienced 43 months of -- [inaudible] on unemployment and on the website under joe's plan you say, quote, in new jersey joe and governor christy have shown there's a better way. why is unemployment in the state 9.9% if you have shown the better way? we don't have a strong economy. they are following a path that is failing us. and if we elect them yet again,
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we'll get more of the same. there's nothing wrong with our new jersey economy that warring national economy wouldn't cure. now here at home, we're doing everything we can to make things right. we're balancing our budget, we're doing it without tax increases, we're rolling out economic incentive, we're changing the culture of new jersey. we do things in a bipartisan way because many of the successes, frankly, almost all of them by necessity we do with a democratic leadership in the legislature. and so can you imagine if your former colleague senator was governor of the state, i know you're close to him. you appointed him to the seat, originally. i can't imagine that new jersey would be doing better. >> moderator: time. >> we're not an island. we need a good american economy to come back. menendez: i find it interesting my opponent would like to cast
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the national ill on my doorstep. but his been in trenton for 24 years. property taxes are the highest among the highest in the nation. you have tuition rates among growing dramatically. you have less teachers in classrooms as a result of his votes. and so you have unemployment high. when we bring money like under the home keeper program. $300 million to keep people in their homes, they don't have the oversight to make sure it gets used so the reality is that when we -- what i have been doing is working to create jobs in new jersey. $52 million for bio tech companies. 133 biotech companies in new jersey. 750 solar projects in new jersey. there are 10,000 people working in the solar industry in new jersey alone.
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i'm thrilled to think about what i was able to do in the regard. the transportation bill that saves up to 52,000 jobs. is how we get the economy moving. >> moderator: time. the next question. >> senator, you know that come january 1st we're looking at the fiscal cliff on taxes. you say reduce -- you will support extending them for everyone except the upper two brackets even they disproportionately live in north jersey. what will you -- will you vote against that and increase the risk that everybody's taxes go up. menendez: the question is, you know, hear my opponent talk about debt and how we have to come together to get around the debt. it you continue all the tax cuts, and you continue to treat capital gains and dividends and everything then lower the rates
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as he wants to. my god, i don't know but that math doesn't work. and so the bottom line is that something has to give. my fight is for middle class families in new jersey. that's why i voted to continue the last set of tax cuts because the republican middle tax cuts hostage to the wealthiest. my fight was to expand the child tax credit, to create the educational opportunity tax credit, to help get new jersey begans get their kids educate, and my fight is to ensure that more than 2 million new jersey people don't get bite by the alternative minimum tax. i succeeded at that working with the republican colleague. >> everybody's tax rate will go up in january. that's the plan. that's the schedule. i think i heard that's what the
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senate embraces and wants. it's not about millionaires or billionaires. it's about the middle class. that you supposedly care so much about. because those are the people that work for the small businesses that will be disproportionately impacted. one out of six people in america who work in the private sector will be impacted by the tax rates. the national federation of independent business said if they go in effect, we're going to lose 700,000 jobs in this country. in new jersey, you know how many it's estimated to be 20,000. and so michael just talked about the new jersey unemployment rate. we have hundred of thousand of people out of work now. do we really want to raise taxes on people now? >> moderator: time. >> and have more people out of work. i want to lower the rates and
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deal with the deductions that senator talks about. let's get rid of the dediction and loophole that junk up the tax code. >> moderator: time. you have a question? >> senator, congress did away with earmarks, officially, no one has ever wanted them unless they come back to their home district. how would you bring back dollars to new jersey in this environment and what would you like to identify as the most pressing new jersey project in need of federal funding? >> well, unfortunately these guys have used the earmark process. they were excessive, and of course, now we're at the point be with the dote problem that we can't afford them. i'm going to fight tooth and nail for every project that can
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come back home with in the confines of form lie and other plans that exist for people to compete for, and i'm going to be very active and visible all around the state. we lost a big army base. didn't justin employ people, but people all around energy. i'm not sure where you were in that fight, i didn't see you. and of course, we lost those jobs, we lost that base, and they moved to maryland, at the sky high price tag for the american taxpayer. >> moderator: time. >> and so the -- >> moderator: time. >> tunnel sunday. that's what we have to work for. >> moderator: thank you. menendez: can i go a little over my time. i got you covered. look. you are entitled your opinion.
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the reality is that the base the fort i didn't have the privilege at the time with that process was going under. it was going on. so, you know, that's not one you can subscribe to me. i join colleagues who were representing the area to be supportive but look, you know, suggested that all the taxes are going to go up in jan. that's a scare tool. it's not realty. no one will allow that to take place. it will be the blow to the economy and no one allow it to take place in the lame duck session. they have nothing in trenton. they used it not too long ago. small christmas tree items. earmarks is taking part of the federal budget that's going exist no matter what, and saying you know what? there are important states i know better. the -- >> moderator: time. >> and creating jobs and
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economic opportunity. >> moderator: i gave you the five second. plus the five the president wanted last night. >> moderator: next question. >> each of you, would you please outline your position on the issue of choice, and if you could please explain any inconsistency in the public record throughout your political career on the position that your advocating this evening? >> well, i had been consistent in my support of choice, and support of women's right chose to. i support roe v. wade. i have voted in ways to allow women to have the critical health care they need so they can make their own decisions and have the health care they need. as a matter of fact we dramatically expanded health care and contraception under the affordable care act which i support. and many opponent, however, last year he self-identified as he was running for the state senate
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as pro-life. now he says he's pro-choice. as i said earlier, we cannot afford as it relates to a woman's right to choose to be multiple choice. and so i have a very clear and consistent and continuous record in supporting women's right to choose. and i don't seek to abrogate that right. i want women to make their own decision about their health care and their bodies. >> moderator: senate your response. >> it's a serious subject, and i'll have to go look to whatever it is that you're referring to about -- i have voted for advocated personal pro-life initiatives that reflect the seriousness of the subject. at the end of the day, i think people have to make up their own mind. i've always felt that way. i believe in parental notice for
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young teenagers, i would support a short waiting period, and i don't believe in late and third trimester abortions. the europeans look at this in a similar way. let people make their own mind up. they are reasonable constraints that reflect the seriousness of this subject. and that's how i feel. and i think most americans frankly, as i talk them, most people in new jersey, most people, feel the very same way. and i have supported millions of dollars in funding for women's health -- >> moderator: time. >> in a long career. >> it may be hard to believe. we reached the time already. it is time for the closing statement. we covered a lot of ground. once again, thank you for being here. for being open. and for discussing these issues which are important to the american people as we prepare to
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make a decision on election day. the candidates, get 90 seconds for the colleague statements. a reminder once again to refrain applause until both are finished speaking. they have been great in their behavior this evening. there was a coins to, once again, to choose who would go first and second. please begin with the closing statement. >> thank you. thank you, everyone. this debate offers a really clear contrast after twenty years in washington, senator, as i have said, i believe you offer more of the same and i'm offering real solutions and the promise we can do better. it's that simple. more of the same from bob or more better future from joe. my father as i said came to new jersey to look for a better life. he worked hard, and he found it. that's the american dream. i believe in that dream.
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i believe in the opportunity for people to work hard, to better themselves and make a great life for themselves and fair family. he's concerned about the middle class. i'm concerned about the middle class. and middle class isn't doing very well. joe biden let it slip out the other day, they have been buried. buried under debt, buried out of work, buried with high gas prices, shuttle ready, senate, if you look closely at senator, you'll realize if we re-elect him we're going get more of the same. more taxes on the middle class, and more peril for our cirn's future. -- children's future. america is in a crisis. if you can believe we can do better as i do, that we can improve the lives for all of our citizens, put them back to work,
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and keep this american dream alive and well for our children, our grandchildren, choose me. >> moderator: thank you. your closing statement. >> i want to thank the panel and moderator and all of you at home for watching. the middle clath is under attack. i have been fighting back. i lead the charge to crack down on wall street's abusive practice ease credit card companies abusive practices. i champion targeted tax relief to the middle class, those things that can help them be able to raise their family's my opponent votes for tax breaks for millionaires and votes against middle class interest. i help stop insurance from denying coverage from preexisting condition. and close the prescription drug coverage from seniors. he wants to repeal the law that made all of that possible. i supported tax credits and incentives that make work pay here and stop sending it abroad. yes, there are tax provisions that give credits or companies that actually take jobs abroad.
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i have voted to close those. my opponent has plans that is very different. i fought for equal pay for equal work and helped pass a law that does that and delivered federal funding for women's health care. my opponent walked out on women on paycheck fairness. didn't cast a vote. not once, not twice, but six times he voted against funding for women's health care in our state while i was bringing millions of dollars for those women get health care. his votes put thousand of teachers out of the classroom. my vote put thousand of teachers in to the classrooms. i understand the challenges of middle class family in the state. i have been working hard on jobs, on making sure that health care is there, and i will don't fight for the the middle class and that's why i ask for your vote in the election. >> moderator: gentleman, we leave it there. we thank you for coming here. we asked you the beginning to come out and state your case.
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to make your opinions known. to make your differences known, you did it and you did it civilly. we are the better for it. we close now with thanks to the panelists. once again you as and new jersey state senator. and now from the -- school of music. and that's a mouthful. i'm mike schneider. thank you for watching. have a good night. next week joe biden and paul ryan will face off in the vice presidential debate. our preview program begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern time followed by the debate. live from dan ville, kentucky, at 9:00. after the debate, live reaction from viewers with phone calls and tweets. follow our live coverage on
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c-span, c-span radio and online at c-span.org. this month as the presidential candidates meet for debate we are asking middle and high school students to send a message to the president as part of the student cam video documentary competition. they will answer the question what is the most important issue the president should consider in 2013. for a change to win the grand prize of $5,000 and the $50,000 in total prizes available. c-span student cam video competition is open to students grade six through twelve. go online to student cam.org. you're watching c-span two with politics -- live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events and every weekend the latest non-fiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get the schedule at the website. and you can join in the
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conversation social media sites. syrian opposition activist today predicted that the assad regime will fall by next summer. the u.s. institute of peace hosted the activist who were part of a group called the day after project. they presented a transition plan for syria which they say is being used by the opposition in areas no longer under assad's control. it's under two hours. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i'm jim marshall the new president of the substitute of peace. i'm delighted to tell you. and i'm also pleased that everyone is here today for a very important -- to hear about a important project that has
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been sponsored. my job is to introduce steven heydemann. steve is the senior adviser for middle east initiative. he taught at colombia. he is published and directed if the senator for democracy and civil society at georgetown university. steve is terrific asset to the institute. the project is one that it driven by syrians. with assistance technical assistance and other kinds of assistance from the institute in a sister constitution in germany. it's very important that these kinds of efforts be driven by local populations. things that are handed down from the united states typical don't work all that well. and so we are very pleased that you're all here. i hope you have lots of questions. and steve, if i can turn this over to you. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for opening us this morning. and let me add my welcome to
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jim's we're delighted to see you here this morning. it's going to be a very, very interesting conversation about syria after assad and the challenges of managing a post assad transition. as jim mentioned, this event this morning is in many ways the cull min nation of a project that has been ingestation for about nine months and it bears any similarity to any -- it is simply a coincidence. this event this morning is an opportunity for us to discuss a document the day after, which we have available for you to pick up downstairs, both in arabic and english on a cd. that contains strategies, ideas, recommendations for how syrians can cope with the broad range of
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challenges that are inevitably going to follow the transition to 0 post asadder are a in syria. what's critical as jim mentioned this is very much the product of deliberations and discussions and debate. sometimes quite heated debates among a group of about 45 to 50 significant figures within the syrian opposition who came together every month for a period of six months to work through the ideas that were -- that were presented in this document. what i'd like to stress, however, in getting us started this morning is that when we began, our conception of with a we were doing was thinking about issues and challenges that would arise at the moment some distance in the future.
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we imagined our ourselves as thinking about how to plan for problems that were on a somewhat disassistant horizon. as the syrian revolution has unfolded, however, it's becoming enclosingly clear to us that we need revise our conception of the document. and revise how we think about the potential to make a difference in the lives of syrians today. what we are seeing in syria is a process in which transition is not going to happen through the overthrow of the assad regime, as a dramatic event that changes the political landscape from one day to the next. what we are seeing is an incremental transition in syria. we're seeing a transition that is unfolding in a rolling fashion. beginning in areas that have been liberated from government
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control and have exercised authority over their own local affairs sometimes for periods of many months. so as we recognize that in fact the transition to a post-asadder are a is underway in many parts of syria. the lesson and strategy and idea and principles contained in the document no longer become a matter of speculates about the future, they become an opportunity to develop concrete programs and concrete strategies that can make a difference in consolidating the processes of transition that have already begun in those areas of syrian that are today lives outside of the control of the syrian government. and that gives our document and urgency and relevance that we are very anxious to build on in
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the next phases of our work as we move beyond what we have done thus far to produce this document and think about how to make it meaningful in the every day lives of syrians who are beginning to build futures for themselves a free from the authority of the authoritarian assad regime. it's very much in this that spirit we want to talk about the document this morning. not only to provide we you background about the origins and the process through which it was produced. not only to talk about some of the idea it contains and some of the key recommendations that it makes in the issue areas that are parentists focused on. but how we can use the document as a tool to facility the consolidation of transitional
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areas beginning right away. what we would like to do this morning get started is you'll have speakers in the agenda. i'm not going go through them myself. you can reference them -- the panelists will speak in the order in which they appear. in the agenda. i'd also like to add we are being web cast, there is a vowership online, which we invite to submit questions to us through our website, we will also be tweeting about the event and we encourage those who are following the event on twitter to send in questions as well and we'll integrate those in to the conversation as the morning unfolding. i'm afraid i also need to mention the standard comment
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about your cell phones. or other devices you might are, if you would please silence them. we would appreciate it. to get us started in the conversation about our document, we would like to turn to professor amr al-azm who served on the executive committee of the day after frojt tell us a little bit about the origins, the genesis, and the process through which this group of syrians developed the content of the day after report. amr al-azm. >> thank you very much, steve. i'd like to take the opportunity to say thank you to steve. because without you, we would never really gotten as far as we have and i'd like to say that from the start. by june, 2010, when the syrian uprising had been sort of slowly
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building its pace, it was becoming clear to us who were involved in the opposition that there was a very critical component that was missing for us. it was our ability to answer a question that kept coming back to us time and time again. we were hearing it not just from the inside but we were hearing from the outside as well. by outside, i mean, both in terms of syrians living overseas, maybe living in the u.s., or elsewhere, and very importantly also from administrations, governments around the world, and obviously from the street i.t. from the people, the very people we were trying to convince that this is an important change that had to come that assad had to go. the question was coming back to us. who is the alternative? it was focused on who the person
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and realized we were facing a critical issue here. if people are thinking in terms of changing one individual for another one dictator for another. one authoritarian figure for another. we're not moving forward. we wanted to change. we felt it was important to begin to get people to think what is the alternative? and in order for us to be able to answer that question, we also had to be able to have a clear vision that we could articulate to people that people who were engaged in the opposition and the work could articulate to those asking that question both inside, outside, administrations, what is the alternative going to be? what is it going to look like. and this is where a group of syrian opposition members, some living inside, some living outside, began to have a series of conversations on how to begin to develop this idea of what is the alternative.
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and also this is when steve and the s s. i. p. step in and we start to work with them inerm it is of beginning to develop this idea. over the next few months, the core concept of how we're going begin to develop such an idea are taking shape and by january, 2012, the first of the series of meetings take place in berlin. we were able to gather almost 50 syrian opposition members, some, you know, just activists from inside, from syrian, some very prominent well-known figures. some belonged to organization such as the syrian national counsel, or the lcc or any -- many of the other numerous entities that are part of the
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broader spectrum of the syrian opposition. others are just independent, and persons who happen to have a certain level of excerpt experience in a certain area we felt would be a great assistance to us. over the coming months with, the syrians would meet regularly, sometimes usually once a monoin berlin. sometimes actually some occasions twice a month. we began to address six core areas, and these were transitional justice, security reform, social policy and economic restructuring constitutional reform, and rule of law. the experts were guided among these six categories, and would each then work within that group to try and develop a vision or answer to the question of what is the alternative going to be?
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and as steve pointed out, the discussion was where sometimes robust, and we never necessarily sought to gain absolute agreement over everything. but what was important for us was to get many of the ideas, many of the visions that people had, and articulate them in a form that could then be used by a future transitional government or body or enif i entity that would eventually emerge from the opposition so when the regime falls they would have the necessary information tools and mechanism and support they would need in order to see the transition through. it's important for me to state this is not the -- we're not the only people who have set out to
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do something like this. there are other people who also have done, you know, more focus perhaps or similar times of work and this is all supposed -- the the day after project as we call it, along with the other efforts out there, are supposed to ultimately be there after the fall of the opposition of the transitional government that will ultimately merge to use apply and assist them in terms of administrating the transition process. i think one last point i'd like to make before i pass it on to my colleagues, because i think they would each like to tell you a little more about the various sectors they worked on. and it's important to note that transition does not begin and the misconception that transition begins when the regime falls. it begins now. you have to prepare.
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there needs to be a culture change. you have to prepare the ground for people and you center to explain to people how the transition process -- there is key fundamental cons accepts that people have to become familiar with it. people have to begin to accept or at least be introduced do to scare so when the transition happens we're prepared and hit the ground running. and there is already a lot of work being done in that -- in these areas right now there are large places of syrian that have been liberated from the assad regime from the current government control, and already people there are actually actively living and practice practicing this transition and our work and the work of others is now being applied, and we can see -- we can begin to see the results of our efforts and we can also evolve our effort. it's an evolving document.
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it's not a set document, and it's done. this is an evolving, growing document. we intended it always to be as such, and we are now actively participating in the development and in the application and the use of the document. and i'm going to pass it on to my colleague afra jalabi. >> you mentioned something very important, which is the work that needs to happen now to begin creating a kind of change in the mind set and the orientation of syrians on the ground about the future. and afra jalabi -- work on the transitional justice component of the document. i think was dealing with one of the issue areas in which that change is most urgent. and most essential. if you'll recall back in late may, news began to leak out from syrian of an atroshes massacre committed in the village of --
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it was the first of many similar massacres. those -- that brutality, the ease claylation of violence directed against civilians had an extraordinary corp.s arive effect on the mind set of syrians participating in the revolution. it has deep end sectarian tension, it has deep end intercommune tal hatred. 3 t deep end the desire for revenge on the part of those who are victims with it has created additional constraints for those who are waiverring in their support for the regime about what would happen to them if they were to side with the opposition, and the transitional justice framework, the transitional justice field offers us strategy and opportunity to provide as amr
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al-azm mentioned alternative to syrians on the ground today. that can respond to the demand for justice, the legitimate demand for jus wibs the legitimate demand that perpetrator be holed account in ways that do not fall back on revenge, cycles of revenge, cycles of violence and killing killing that would only delay syria's transition to a stable, peaceful, and potentially even democratic political order in the post assad period. so the arena in which he was working i think is one that we feel drives us most urgently to become engaged in work on the ground in syria. afra jalabi please. >> for many people, syria emerge almost suddenly in the media. within the context of the arab spring, and that is the nature
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of global media we tend to become aware of a crisis situation after something has been going on for a long time. syrians have been suffering under the law and brutal dictatorship for the last four decades and even more. so much has been happening in syrian, but on the out, it seemed like a stable society. so stability was more a -- for a pressure cook. syria is a deeply traumatized society. we have had massacres and appearances in the '80s there was an uprising that turned somewhat in to an armed conflict and the regime brutally crushed that. causing the death of over 30,000 in one town called -- [inaudible] if some of you are familiar with that. in a 27-day military campaign, and in the next following ten years, which would actually
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inform you why the syrians are willing to sacrifice so much in the following, in the following ten years the syrian regime collectively punished the society. they were about 80,000 disappearances. it's almost an impossibility to meet a syrian who has not been directly or indirectly not impacted by the regime. just to to give you an example. i have a cousin who has been in prison for 31 years without trial. he was a pilot and one day he disappeared. it took his family years to know he was alive. we have common friends on the panel who don't know actually the faith of their disappeared participates. for syria for a long time did not -- so this project a lot it is not binding in many of the recommendations, what it is trying to do is to rise the bar
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within syria in the political discourse we've had for the last decades. the are sheem lowered the bar. in the national discourse. there was no mention of human rights, even though syria was one of the members that signed many human rights treaty. it never followed them up. and so they were arbitrary and incredible level of torture to constantly scare the syrians. so what you have is you have a very messy situation. and in the last year and a half that was intensified systemly and inconsistently. you saw the face of the regime that the syrians have been enduring for these last decades. and what was underground the suffering underground came to the surface. and this was -- the willingness and the resilience of the syrian people not to go back. they know they cannot live the
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eve lotion. what they are, what the evolution started is to bring syrian back to the rule of law. and that's why it was a revolution of dignity and not poverty or hungry. and that's transitional justice is at the core oft post assad period. it is a process that would allow the syrians to come back to the march of hives i are. we have been isolated far long time. over 18 million sir yons are in compile in a country that --
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or eastern europe or even in south africa when people even if they did not have those who violated them tried but when they were able to tell what happened to them. when they were able to share their experience and the suffering with -- there was a great deal of healing. we tried to create a framework in which there would be a variety of approaches to transitional justice and not commitment to one specific framework. and we also wanted to make the syrians aware of the traps suggestion nalt justice is not a legal process. it is something cultural as well. it is something sociological they can participate in.
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we wanted to give them recommendations that would allow them to actually be empowered as citizens and participate in the process. and i will stop here and give mic to my colleague. we can of course have continued conversation later. thank you. >> thank you very much. that was a terrific introduction to that piece of the project. -- worked as chair of the security sector working group. security sector reform working group of the project. and it is a second issue area that has absolely critical implications both for the fate of the syrian revolution and for its future. it include questions like what do we do about the massive internal security apparatus that the syrian regime created? what happens to it? the event that a more comprehensive transition process is possible.
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it also includes questions about how do we ensure the provision of day-to-day security during a transitional period in and it includes questions like how do we avoid the kind of outcome that we have seen in a case like libya where the fall of the old regime left in the wake dozens of armed ma militia groups whose activity west are seen cull m nateed that brought about the murder of american diplomat. ..
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>> also syria has been under martial law since 1963.
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all of these things into account and the fact this syrian army is ideological and it is no need to prop up the regime. the most important of which which is the authority over the army. so to express socially also the armed forces with the sovereignty of the sector.
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it would be a political. >> with the number of challenges we have taken some examples and the lessons learned from my iraq and libya and know that there will be some measure of failing. this could include serial disturbances and would include the estimate of regime power that is already highly unstable. so with the potential challenges to see the possible solutions for each.
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there are military councils this is good news. for the most part it has left itself out from the crisis there are many elements to identify and many elements within regular forces. after the collapse of the assad regime with the forces as we see a. this is a lesson learned we will not paralyzed the situation but it would be totally revamped as they
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have the most blood on their hands. i will stop here and we will take your questions. >> on what this discussed the most significant dimension megaproject teenaged the revolution has produced extraordinary production following the bombing that took there was horrific but far from unusual. that level of destruction ms. present in towns and cities it will take a herculean effort to
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including extraordinary commitment to with the international community that is quite weary of the demand as states requiring assistance if to proceed effectively. there is a tragic dimension following the violence that has accompanied the violence. with the projections of 700,000 refugees by the end of the year. the efforts involved to address the needs is a hugely influential to shape the fate of the post a side transition and to the effort under way.
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there is the added concern economic set throughout the period of our utterly dysfunctional, corrupt, inef ficient, and that has us to be addressed. we have another arena where the scale of the challenge is enormous and it is very critical. to talk about our social reconstruction committee. >> good morning. as has been indicated, we have so many challenges before us we almost did not know where to start.
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to look at the immediate needs of the displaced, the refugee crisis, absolute devastation across the country. how could we prioritize? we realize they had to be handled, currently. reestablished a series of objectives with economic and social issues but support some of the other areas like rule of law and supporting the securities sector. this was to consolidate peace. to stop the killing. also looking at ending sectarian violence and additional bloodshed through revenge killing.
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also to look at humanitarian needs psycho social support. not only through the revolution but through authoritarian rule. talk about water, sanitation, sanitation , to help civil society. to determine which area could be saved first. one of the most important to objectives to empower local communities we believe one of the keys to run powering
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with the creation of jobs. where the local community has repair the industrial bakery producing bread for 80% of the population. police force complete with new uniforms. it is a self sustaining community. also macro economic stability in line with the powering local communities. we did talk about the process to dismantle the regime not the the death of vacation but to transform society from the nepotism where today even the slightest transaction with a
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cousin of the president was known as mr. 10 percent and business people know they cannot affect any transaction without a kick back to the government. where they could update the document. >> our syrian colleagues discussed and debated some discussions were quite heated what happens from here? i speak for the group as a whole this is not a document which targets a future transitional process added
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eight to be determined by how we support with the opposition but how did that happen? so that this does not just gather dust. the document has become a reference point* about the process of transition it has strong support with the syrian muslim of brotherhood. we'll circulated committees inside of syria. endorsed by the european union parliament. there is broad global awareness for the contents. that is not enough to insure
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the work has begun to make a difference. now turning our attention to that now i have had the privilege of working quite closely over nine months as coordinator in the project to talk about precisely what is happening. >> it is not starting. good day to have influence on the ground. since i met you in beirut that is the first time i met you.
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in d.c. more particular. you are more interested to talk about the day after. it is very important. back then we started the debate to assess the capacity. we were aware the day after starting right now. why in the first few months we realized as the syrian opposition we are young. that we do not have the capacity or the entity to
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handle the project. and it to do this. this is what we are expecting we need the experience and the support. then we started working on this. but how we present this we not try to tell the syrian transition government what not to do do.
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with a member of the opposition we supported with the expertise of all domains that we have discussed. and then how to take it from eighth through the. that how we do it. but at the same time we are very confident of the method for this document confident on the expertise, and the
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result we have come up with. rehab no efforts to implement. the executive committee of the day after project we form the day after association also to continue to support the day after project i was in turkey a few days ago. we will establish the office with the syrian activist to
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keep advancing. the day after there is many international actors. they need the support of our efforts for the implementation. it is supporting the day after the association to supporting the ngo and four in istanbul to continue the war with the day after project.
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budget reached out from the securities sector so with the day after project to have the opportunity they q for our german partner and with this area in generation this is what we expect and we are really thankful. >> we had good material to work with.
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the importance of communicating to the syrian people themselves and that is something we are attentive to to develop strategies as part of the project. rafif jouejati has been involved with the ministry of foreign affairs. would you like to tell this group about one of the frameworks we have developed on the project? >> thank you. working with the union of free serious students of a network of 80 branches throughout the country and are circulating the document in addition redeveloped a communication campaign rolling out called serial
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bonds to us. going to different generations come the sectors of the economy, to reinforce our recommendations. for example, what-- reaching out to religious elders to not to engage in the revenge killings. we go to the business community to appeal to them to be conscious of the need to jump-start and empower sectors of society. protect team phone verbal communities. women, children, you will see this rolling out. we will be releasing videos and different materials to keep going.
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outside but essentially inside. >> host: we would like to begin a conversation with you. there are microphones underside so why not behind the microphone to ask our presenters while folks are getting ready that the institute needs to thank number of individuals baja who helped to make this possible. the state department initiative that provided funding for the avert the dutch ngo comment nervy gen ngo provided support to make
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the effort possible. amr al-azm the meetings were held in berlin we wanted this setting to be perceived as a safe space they could talk and build trust. it was facilitated by a german partner. some of this was a collection of partners and supporters to make this effort possible and will continue to support without moving forward. please identify yourself. >> public and national policy group. could you explain the
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prospects of good justice process through 1963? and the importance of kareem this period and the challenges from implementation and possible peace negotiation with the government. >> we tried to do with this. with the recent violation that is extremely significant of the moment that how we send and large my friend was discussing the extent of the destruction.
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it syrians have been impacted to do very much. in the document we aren't guaranteed with good dealing without violation of human rights. of course, we would need documentation. syrians have to go through it. are really to give them a sense of accountability it was a really giving us a sense of the syrians were responding. activist had the issue and
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not expecting to have the answer. they have reservations they like the concept and the adr with they don't want to see the history they applied to award a term it would be treated as a fresh violation. we hope to create a framework in which all violations will be heard and a process to document for evidence. in a national prison and syria many were buried without being identified.
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if you look at the documents you will see the recommendations. regarding negotiation the document of the moment to think about negotiating. in eighth place that is almost a slave like situation to be destroyed and bond. internationally the regime is doing a doublespeak yes be will withdraw and we will negotiate with the opposition but under the ground phase of the city. syrians have seen this.
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it is an interesting technique to subscribe to the norms while it questions people severely whereby let me. >> good morning. i am with talk radio news service. thank you for saying it is of blueprint, a work in progress. i appreciate that. you have talked about a range of internal issues. what concerns have you addressed with syria's role with concern this could be a safe haven for the contention this is a domestic issue?